Called to the hospital when his fifteen-year-old daughter, Angela, is injured in a potentially fatal accident, a prominent surgeon sits and waits, silently confessing the affair he had the year Angela was born. As Timoteo’s tale begins, he’s driving to the beach house where his beautiful, accomplished wife, Elsa, is waiting. Car trouble forces him to make a detour into a dingy suburb, where he meets Italia–unattractive, unpolished, working-class–who awakens a part of him he scarcely recognizes. Disenchanted with his stable life, he seizes the chance to act without consequences, and their savage first encounter spirals into an inexplicable obsession. Returning again and again to Italia’s dim hovel, he finds himself faced with a choice: a life of passion with Italia, or a life of comfort and predictability with Elsa. As Angela's life hangs in the balance, Timoteo's own life flashes before his eyes, this time seen through the lens of the one time he truly lived.
From the Trade Paperback edition.